Surname Woodard - Meaning and Origin
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Woodard: What does the surname Woodard mean?
The last name Woodard is of English origin, dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. It is derived from the Old English “wudu-weard” which translates to “guard of the wood”. It was a nickname for someone who was a guardian of a forest or a woodlands, and it was likely given to someone who acted as a protector of the wild animals who resided there.
The Woodard surname is also recorded as a variant spelling of Woodward. Both topographical surnames were common in the Middle Ages and were often used to describe an individual's place of residence or occupation.
Today, Woodard is primarily found in England and the United States, where it is most likely used as a surname of endearment. It may indicate a family's relationship to the forests and land that the name originally described. In some cases, the name may also have been taken as a sign of admiration or respect for anyone who held the role of guardian -someone who is a protector.
In modern times, the Woodard surname is seen as a reminder of a person's unique history and connection to nature and the forests and land that surround them. It can also serve as a symbol of the importance of preserving and protecting the natural environment.
Woodard: Where does the name Woodard come from?
The Woodard surname is most commonly found in the United States and Canada. According to the Census Bureau, the surname is the 7,620th most common name in the United States, where 62,403 Woodard individuals are estimated to live, making up 0.025% of the population.
In Canada, Woodard is the 9,377th most common name, where it is estimated that 13,017 individuals have the surname. In the United Kingdom, the surname ranks 10,606th and is estimated to be held by around 3,307 people.
Based on current population figures, Woodard is most prominent in the south eastern and south central parts of the United States, with the highest concentration of the family names being found in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.
In the United Kingdom, Woodard is mainly concentrated in cities such as Birmingham, Wolverhampton, London, and Coventry, as well as counties such as Bedfordshire, Derbyshire, and Essex.
In terms of wealth, Woodard individuals are found to be slightly above average in terms of average income, and there are more Woodard individuals in management positions than in other occupations.
Ultimately, the Woodard name is most commonly associated with the United States, owing to the commonality of the surname in the United States and Canada.
Variations of the surname Woodard
The surname Woodard is an Anglo-Saxon name, derived from the Olde English pre 7th century words 'wudu', meaning wood, and 'weard', meaning a guard or guardian. The surname Woodard is found in records since the 12th Century, and variations of the name include Woodard, Wooward, Wooder and Wodward.
Woodward is the most common variation found in English records, originating from the Middle English spelling. It is believed that some variation in the spelling is due to a combination of dialect and literacy. Woodard is the most common variant found in Scotland.
Variants of the name Woodard include Wordard, Wheard, Woodet and Wooditt. Spellings such as Wordward, Wooard and Woodeard are occasionally found in the English records.
In the United States, Woodard is the most common spelling. Other common phonetic variations of the surname found in the US are Wooten, Woodall, Wooed and Woodson.
In Scotland, the surname Woodard has birthed a number of variations, including Wudder, Woodie, Woodder and Woder. Variants of the name with the prefix 'Mc' can also be found in Scottish records, such as MacWoodard, McCurdy and MacWardie.
In Ireland, the surname has been anglicized to MacWhelan. Other Anglicized variations of the name include Woodlock, Wooday and Woodley.
The name Woodard has also spread to other countries, such as Australia, where it has been adapted to Wooldridge, Woodards, Wooldredge and Woldridge ; and Canada, where the surname has been altered to Wooder, Woodrich, Woodrow and Woodward.
Famous people with the name Woodard
- Alfre Woodard: an American actor, producer, political activist, and director
- Denzel Washington: an American actor, film director, and producer
- Robin Woodard: an English singer, songwriter and composer
- Joan Woodard: an American artist and educator
- Sharon Woodard: an English-born American actress
- Matthew Woodard: an American actor, writer and director
- Woody Woodard: an American professional wrestler
- Pamela Woodard: an artist, lecturer and veteran
- William Woodard: a British actor and voiceover artist
- Julie Woodard: an Emmy-award winning animation producer and director